USDA official tours food co-op in Brattleboro
BRATTLEBORO --- U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan opened a day-long tour through southern Vermont and New Hampshire this week with a stop at the Brattleboro Food Co-op. Merrigan was in Windham County, and in Cheshire County in New Hampshire, to support food co-ops and small farms, and to promote USDA’s Know Your Farmer program which links consumers with small farms in their area.
The Co-op secured a $4-million USDA Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan for its new $9-million building and Merrigan got a tour of the new co-op from General Manager Alex Gyori. Gyori led Merrigan and a small crowd of USDA staff members on the tour which highlighted the local products that the co-op stocks in all of its departments. Merrigan said USDA recognizes the co-op as a model project that promotes local food and creates jobs.
"This store is an example of how everyone benefits when you invest in local agriculture," said Merrigan. "The co-op has been a round for a long time and this takes it to a whole new level." Merrigan and her staff also looked at the new apartments on the second and third floors of the co-op.
Later in the day Merrigan went to three farms in Walpole and Keene, N.H. and then toured the site of the Monadnock Community Market Co-op in Keene.
Quilt Festival in the Greens this weekend
BENNINGTON -- With the spectacular Green Mountains in full fall foliage as a backdrop, The Quiet Valley Quilters’ Guild presents its 19th annual quilt show, The Bennington Quiltfest 2012, Sept. 15 and 16 at the Mount Anthony Middle School.
The show will have many quilts; new, vintage, challenge and special exhibit, also, demonstrations, consignments, and, specially featured quilter, George Siciliano. The Guild will raffle a queen sized quilt, "Autumn in Vermont," which was made by its members.
For further information visit www.benningtonquiltfest.com or call 802-823-4631.
Center introduces ‘Discovery Packs’
The One World Conservation Center in Bennington has introduced "Discovery Packs" for visitors to the Greenberg Reserve.
"Our staff has designed and assembled light backpacks available for visitors to the Reserve," said Bruce Evey, director of the center. "The backpacks are filled with family oriented information and activities around a variety of Nature topics that visitors can experience in the Reserve."
Design and assembly of the packs was a primary summer project of Marcus Chiaretto, Intern at the OWCC and a sophomore student at UMass-Amherst, with assistance from volunteers and employees at the center.
Discovery Packs are available for Trees/Wildflowers, Mammals, Birds, and Reptiles/Amphibians/Insects. All the discovery packs contain binoculars, field guides, species information cards, children’s activities, maps, and topic-specific tools and tips for exploration and learning.
The packs can be checked out at the Conservation Center, and are free to members of the Center, with a small charge for non-members. OWCC is open from 8 .m. until 4 p.m., seven days per week through Columbus Day, and is located approximately one mile south of downtown Bennington on Route 7.
The center is devoted to the conservation of the world’s natural resources, preserving and sustaining biodiversity, and providing education and natural recreational opportunities to the community. The non-profit One World Conservation Center is supported by grants as well as memberships and donations from the local community, and presents many educational and fun programs about conservation and sustainable living for adults and children.
Saratoga Springs to host National Holstein Association convention
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- The National Holstein Association’s annual convention will take place in Saratoga County in 2016. The Holstein Association USA is the largest dairy breed organization in the world, headquartered in Brattleboro, Vt., where it’s been since 1903. The event is being planned for June 26 to July 2, 2016.
The negotiating and finalization of the details for this citywide event have come together during the past two years. Organizers said the convention will produce more than 1,700 room night reservations at various hotel properties and will use many venues for various events throughout the convention. Becky and Jeff King, owners of Kings Ransom Farm in Northumberland. are credited with promoting Saratoga for the 2016 national convention.
"We are thrilled to be the host destination for the National Holstein Association’s annual convention. This was a true team effort, between the City Center, Saratoga Hilton, Convention & Tourism Bureau staffs and our local partners to land this prestigious event," Convention
Bureau President Todd Garofano said. "We look forward to working with Becky and Jeff King and the association’s convention staff over the next few years to ensure a successful convention once they arrive in 2016."
Becky King said they researched and selected the Saratoga area as the site for the national convention because of the combination of a vibrant downtown along with its close proximity to numerous local agricultural businesses and areas of historical significance. "Saratoga offers ‘big-city’ amenities with a small-town feel. Our attendees will enjoy the convenience of being able to walk out of the doors of the City Center and their hotel to explore what Broadway and its surroundings have to offer. The Convention and Tourism Bureau has been a valuable resource for us right from the infancy stages of our planning. We look forward to our continued relationship and the assistance they have to offer as we dive into the details of planning this event," King said.
-- The Saratogian